Because of the fact that the 1979 winner, Israel, did not have the means of hosting the song contest again, the UK broadcaster BBC was asked if they would be willing to organise the event. They declined, so the Netherlands became the organiser despite the fact that there was not enough time left and Dutch TV NOS had to re-use most of the stage from 1976 when they hosted the contest last. NOS picked April 19th as the date for the song contest, but as this was the Holocaust Memorial Day in Israel, the defending champion decided not to participate which marked the only time when the winner of one Eurovision Song Contest didn't participate in the next. For the first time in the history of the song contest, an African country - Morocco - participated with Samira, a star in all of the Arabian countries, but when her entry Bitakat Hob ended up at 18th position with just 7 points altogether, Moroccan TV decided that the country should not participate in the contest again. Turkey returned to the contest after one year's absence and Monaco stayed home which meant that the total amount of participating countries amounted to 19 - just as in 1979.
Each country brought along a presenter of its own choice along in order to introduce the song in their native language. The Irish Johnny Logan who would later be called "Mr. Eurovision" secured Ireland's second victory. The Australian-born singer who only became an Irish citizen after he sang for Ireland in the 1980 contest, would later return and win the contest again in 1987. His 1980 victory brought him a number one hit in the UK and numerous television appearances across Europe.
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